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Mission of Love in Quarantine

So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” – Deuteronomy 10:19

This is the anchor verse that Indra and Estherhold very closely to their hearts.  

Showing love to foreigners in a strange land is what compels their ministry as a husband-and-wife team leading Covenant EFC’s Indonesian Fellowship. 

But during this pandemic, how could this possibly come about in this time of restricted physical gatherings?   

Open Doors

God opened the doors. In January this year, there were increasing numbers of Indonesian domestic workers being temporarily quarantined at Community Care Facilities after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.  

From the perspective of these domestic workers, it is certainly fearful enough to arrive in a new country not knowing what to expect. Compounded with the fear of COVID-19 and being quarantined in unfamiliar quarters, it was a very difficult time for many of them.

Through divine connections, Project Nurisa was born.

Project Nurisa, an engagement programme for these domestic workers, aims to love and give hope through befriending. This Covenant-led humanitarian initiative was done in collaboration with other churches’ Indonesian fellowship network. Aside from Indra and Esther, it is supported by 18 other volunteers.

“When these domestic workers get quarantined, they are not able to do much. We want to reach out and listen to their stories using their own language. They can share a lot more when they are able to do so in their native tongue,” Esther said.

It is held online every week and comprises several activities ranging from art therapy in stress management, basic English lessons, talks on family financial management and Right’s Protection by Indonesian Embassy, among others.

Seeing God Work

Through this humanitarian work, Indra and Esther believe that it opened another platform for them to share God’s love — whether by lending a listening ear or helping them process their personal struggles 
 
It really warms and encourages the volunteers when the domestic workers are so receptive to us. In all of these, we really see how God works, Esther shared.   
 
She smiled as she recalled a divine encounter where one of the ladies opened up for deeper conversation. Over time, this worker was keen to understand more. This was one of the many joyous moments experienced over the past months. 

Facing Constraints

Things were not all smooth-sailingThere were certainly challenges faced over the course of the project such as coming up with an engaging programme curriculum, tight resource planning, finding suitable speakers, and gathering sufficient volunteers within a stipulated time frame 
 
However, Indra and Esther recognised that this was not about them. It wasn’t about the fatigue or the constraints. It was ultimately about God  sharing His love and doing His Kingdom work. 

Ongoing Mission of Love

With this in mind, Project Nurisa is designed to be an ongoing humanitarian outreach. Along with other volunteers, the couple continued keeping in close contact with the domestic workers through Whatsapp and Facebook groups even after their departure from the facilities.   

Through this project, both Indra and Esther’s eyes were opened to the many more in need. This leaves us with a sobering reminder that missions can always start from home — and our home mission is to love people. 

“We thank God for this opportunity that we can have an additional avenue to serve, love others and give hope. As we serve and show God’s love, we ourselves receive joy from the Lord,” the couple reflected. 

What’s the first step we can take? “Be sensitive to the needs of others around you, and be ready to step up and help when the need arises,” said Indra.

 


Grace Tan

Grace Tan worships at BPJ Centre, and enjoys a good read, the sounds of nature and a night breeze. She is presently serving in the CG and Hokkien Ministry.

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
Jonah 4:1-9
Fri, 28 January 2022

The Angry Man

Observation:

What question does God ask Jonah twice in this passage?

Deeper Reflection
IN CHAPTER 4 WE GET A GLIMPSE OF THE REBELLIOUS prophet’s true worldview and values. We would expect Jonah to be delighted that the Ninevites experienced God’s mercy, as he himself did (Jon 2:6). Then, the first word of chapter 4 – BUT – hits us like a sledgehammer. BUT Jonah was exceedingly displeased! He was angry! Why? Because, as verse 2 reveals, Jonah the rebellious prophet had not truly changed his perspective, even after his fish belly experience. He tells God: I told you so! That is why I never wanted to preach to the Ninevites – because I knew that You would forgive them. Jonah had preached, hoping that God would not be gracious to Nineveh, or that the Ninevites would not repent, thereby incurring judgment. Jonah resented God’s grace to the undeserving – except when he himself was the recipient.74 God asks Jonah a rhetorical question twice in verses 4 and 9: do you have a right to be angry? The second time, Jonah actually answers this question – YES, I DO, I’m angry enough to die. Aren’t we all somewhat petulant and immature like Jonah? We love God’s grace – primarily when it is extended to us. When we see others receive God’s grace, our first instinct may be to cry “Unfair!” rather than rejoice with them. Or we think it unfair when we do not receive the grace we (ironically) think we deserve. Jonah was very happy when God graciously provided him a plant (v.6), but furious when God took it away. God’s grace is His prerogative – we never have a right to demand it. And He is gracious to all!
74 Stuart, Hosea-Jonah, 443.
Application:

How do I deal with feelings of “unfairness” when I do not receive the blessings that I think I deserve, or when I see others blessed “more” than me?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for SGI leaders: That all small group leaders will depend deeply on God’s grace and serve others because of it
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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